the truest thing I’ve written

Not today. Even though morning is quiet and all is still except an ache and everything  wants bed and warmth sleep snuffled skin and hot chocolate smells and also coffee perhaps a piece of toast- everything and nothing. I think, I have never had toast made for me and then: remember Anna but…why does it not count? Also: her kitchen always cold. Why was it always cold? Also shame also grey also heavy also stop, make it stop, something slimy and smelly inside and ewww and curly hair and huddled blankets, secrets under the sheet why have I never spoken about those warm nights and the things I hid under  the mattress? And why did that even happen I don’t even know. Always food always food and skin and thumb and stomach. Always loudness always more. Always the fear, squeezing at the chest, always so afraid that someone would see me. The banishment of touch and what could it possibly mean, this casting in glass, this hard cold agony, this waiting. Six years and put everything on hold, freeze the tears solid and build a fortress of bones and live looking at the sky waiting for an eagle to drop a note- it’s OK now, and, they love you.

Friendships were holes you dug and then fell into, wild and sweaty. Dark and damp and always the sunlight would cast itself inside. How the sun scared you and why, why were you so afraid of your face and what were you hiding? Most definitely you were hiding something, a boulder of 2 tons on your chest and some dirty secrets too, nestled above your ribcage. Will you ever be able to talk about bikes and Mac and cheese and clean laundry and basement doors and old hampers and praying in the dawn light and everything the neighbors ever heard and why not cut their ears out I wish I could take away everything they ever heard. All the dirt beneath the fingertips and hidden under the sink and often I refuse to remember and there is so much of the generous night to lose oneself in and also coffee beach guitar and friends. And always please please hug me very, very hard and make me feel safe, even if only for a little while, just please. But then there is an offer, a tentative preposition of healing and then you can be stuck, everything and nothing laced with bourbon and milk and dreams in darkness with a weight and frightened hellos bouncing off empty air and faceless foes and who? Who hurt me so bad I don’t know…

…and we mustn’t forget all the lies, and the cement in the stomach and the sand shaking in the bones; something about the truth too violent and ugly and shameful for words…the truth camouflaged by too many brilliant remarks and curled loose leaf paper peppered with black ink. The terrorism of the body as it turned on itself, as it bullied the soul, spat cruel insults at its ears and everything mixed up and all twisted inside and hidden face and white freckled skin and everything slowly transforming into a pleaded and plotted concealment. Please never ever think of the chlorine of the pool and young girlish thighs and neon colored bathing caps and drowning beneath too many words that razor bladed out my mouth, lay bleeding on the bunk room floor, will you be my friend and talk of Other Things and all the hurt inside a small head that is just way too young and slowly surviving the trickling moments, slowly. Everything was slow but passed by fast, memories overcrowding the cellar and with the sunlight there is paralysis- the cellar is cluttered, smells bad and heaving sighs that slice the nighttime into pieces.

I refuse to hide but I refuse to heal, wait for foreign fingers that trace familiar on the skin, wait for a voice that coaxes secrets out into the stars, wait for something so vague but so sure, and I am certain but not apologetic- waiting but fixing, a tireless, endless labor, treasure the tapestry sewn in sweat and sin and forgiveness…a ceaseless devotion, an altar to G-d, everything I want I will work for, I do not accept handouts, I will not accept defeat. But it shouldn’t hurt this much- not the girls’ wind blown hair as they pedal their bikes, not the sweet silent mornings swathed in warm honey slumber, not the Facebook posts of homemade cookies and fresh milk; we all battled different battles and paint our wounds decorative and deceiving and I have no business feeling gutted the way I do, but I do, I do, I  feel gutted all the time…all the time…


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